The other night, my husband and my two-year-old grandson Eamon were sharing the couch. There was a big towel there that Duane sits on to protect the upholstery when he comes in from outside and Eamon was tossing it over his grandfather’s head, giggling gleefully.
“How many times are you going to throw that over me?” Duane said, making a pathetic face that didn’t fool Eamon for a second.
“Four.” And he threw it again.
At least seven times.
“The kid has a weird perception of numbers,” said Duane just before his face disappeared for the eighth time to the music of Eamon’s merry cackle.
My sixth and seventh books will be out early in 2013. I’m excited. I’m proud of the books. I’m editor-blessed, have great friends in the writing community—yay, Wranglers!—and looking at things from the pre-published vantage point of the 1990s, the writing career’s pretty shiny.
Only, it’s taken me 13 years to do what some writers do in—I don’t know, 13 weeks? I make some money, but scarcely enough to support my sewing and traveling habits. Nowhere near enough to pay the bills or seriously pad our retirement income.
I remember fondly when I could write 10 pages a day or 30 over a weekend. An essay was a couple of hours from blank page to finished product. I remember reading about a best-selling author who counted 500 words as a good day and being shocked. Years later, 500 words is a good day for me.
When I retired last year, I hoped I would be able to sell two or three more books before I stopped writing altogether. I’ve done that, but I’m not ready to stop yet. So maybe four.
I’ve been doing edits this week. And spending grandkid time. And sewing. Great things that are as fun now as they’ve always been. And writing. Even if it’s slower and sometimes not as good, it’s still writing. Still joy.
Numbers are just numbers, after all, and Eamon’s “weird perception” goes along with laughing hard. Joy.
So...maybe seven or eight.